Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2010, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (9): 1016-1024.doi: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.09.002

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparative analysis of inter-specific association within the Stipa grandisS. krylovii community in typical steppe of Inner Mongolia, China

LIU Jue-Hong; GAO Hui; ZHANG Li-Hong; CHEN Li-Ping; ZHAO Nian-Xi; and GAO Yu-Bao*   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
  • Received:2010-03-29 Online:2010-10-08 Published:2010-09-01
  • Contact: GAO Yu-Bao

Abstract: Aims Xilin Gol steppe of Inner Mongolia is located in the typical steppe area in China, but some areas have been invaded by desert steppe species such as Stipa gobica, with which S. grandis and S. krylovii mixed to form three types of patches (Stipa grandis, S. krylovii and S. gobica) within the community. It is not known what kinds of relationships exist among the dominant species in the community. Our objective was to investigate how the dominant species in the three patches interact with each other and with other species. Methods Field data were collected in August during 2007 to 2009 in the three different kinds of Stipa patches. Ten plots were set in each patch type and placed at random within the site, giving a total of 90 plots in three years. The 2 × 2 contingency table, variance ratio (VR) of the overall association, Pearson coefficient and Spearman rank correlation coefficient were used in quantitative analysis of the interspecific associations among the 24 plant species in the three kinds of patches. Important findings The overall inter-specific association among 24 plant species of the community showed no correlation, indicating that species association was weak. The distribution and formation patterns of patches, which were possibly due to interactions among interference, competition, soil environment and plant function, were verified by analyzing species correlation in the three kinds of Stipa patches. These results provide evidence for the theory of species association. We noted that the nature (positive or negative) or degree of association varied with different kinds of patches. According to their adaptability to the environment and relationships between plants and environment, the 24 species were divided into three ecological species groups.

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